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President Wyatt appoints McDaniel
to serve as ASU System General Counsel
Oct. 3, 2007 -- Dr. Les Wyatt, president of the Arkansas State University System, announced today that he has appointed Jonesboro attorney Lucinda McDaniel to serve as General Counsel.  She will join the ASU System office staff, effective Jan. 1.

Although she will be based in Jonesboro, McDaniel will provide legal services and counsel to all of the campuses associated with the ASU System, including Beebe, Mountain Home, Newport, Searcy, Heber Springs and Marked Tree.

Lucinda McDanielWhile the university has retained counsel throughout its history, this is the first time it has employed a full-time attorney on staff. The decision was driven by a sharply increased work load and need for legal services throughout the system of campuses.

"The workload and demand for legal services has increased as we have added campuses," Wyatt said, "and we have important contractual matters as well as added research activities in conjunction with the Arkansas Biosciences
Institute at the Jonesboro campus."

The choice of McDaniel to serve as university counsel was a logical one, the president said. "Lucinda has worked with ASU for many years as the university's attorney through an arrangement with her law firm. She has had a very productive association with us in the past," Wyatt commented. "She has represented Arkansas State University and its components with integrity and success in her previous dealings for us, on faculty, staff and administrative issues.

"She has a great deal of credibility within the legal community, and she has had high commendation and regards from other attorneys, from judges, and from the state attorney general's office, with which she interacts as university attorney," he added.

McDaniel said she is very enthused about her expanded role with ASU. "I am honored to be given the opportunity to serve as University Counsel to the ASU System," McDaniel said. "I have worked as part-time counsel to ASU my entire legal career and look forward to being able to devote my full efforts to all the campuses in the system."

An alumna with bachelor's and master's degrees in education from ASU, McDaniel also has a highly visible leadership record in the community.  She is in line to become chair of the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce at the group's annual meeting Thursday evening. Her Chamber work also includes chairing the ASU Committee, and she has served on the board of United Way of Jonesboro.

McDaniel has been a partner with the firm of Womack, Landis, Phelps, McNeill and McDaniel since 1989. This firm has a long history with the institution, having provided legal representation to ASU for more than 50 years. The firm will continue to provide outside legal services to ASU on a contract basis.

A native of Jonesboro, McDaniel's legal practice has focused on civil and administrative litigation.  She has served as president of the Craighead County Bar Association, a member of the executive committee of the Arkansas Bar Association, and president of the Arkansas Association of Defense Counsel.

She has served on committees of the American Bar Association, and as a member of the Arkansas State Board of Law Examiners.  Her awards include the Golden Gavel Award from the Arkansas Bar Association for outstanding service to the profession, the W. A. Eldridge Jr. Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer Award, and selection as a Mid-South Super Lawyer. She and her husband Mike are residents of Jonesboro. Her parents are Dr. and Mrs. Eugene W. Smith.

The appointment is subject to confirmation by the Board of Trustees at the next meeting, scheduled for Dec. 7 at ASU-Beebe.

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